Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-61) was a French philosopher particularly interested in the nature of human consciousness as embodied experience. He was born in Rochefort-sur-mer, France. As a student at the École normale supérieure, he became interested in phenomenology through the work of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. After graduating in 1930, Merleau-Ponty taught at different high schools, but with the outbreak of World War II he served as an officer in the French army. While participating in the French Resistance during the German occupation, he taught in Paris and wrote The Phenomenology of Perception (1945), widely regarded as his most important work.